Local athletes finding success at next level

Tuesday January 29, 2013


Sports Editor

BENNINGTON -- Area athletes are dotting colleges all over, taking their talents from the home courts to their next stops. Here’s just a few from the fall and winter seasons:

* Zak Hale, freshman, Anderson University

Hale, the former Mount Anthony Union High School standout wrestler who finished his high school career with 215 wins, the second-highest in state history, has continued that success with Anderson, a Division II school in South Carolina. At 133 pounds, Hale is 14-3, going 3-0 in the recent Super Region I Duals at Newberry College. He had won eight matches in a row in 2013.

* Abby Iannotti, post graduate, Tilton School

Iannotti, one of the top scorers in MAU girls basketball history, is leading the Rams who are 12-3 this season in the Class C New England Prep School Athletic Conference.

She started the year in her first game with a 16-point, 11-rebound performance and kept that going, averaging a double-double for most of the season.

* Molly Lauver, freshman, Lasell College

Lauver, a 1,000-point scorer from Cambridge, has become a star for Lasell in her inaugural season. She’s averaging 14.1 points per game, shooting 40 percent from 3-point land and has won the Great Northeast Athletic Conference rookie of the week award three times, including back-to-back. She scored a season-high 33 in a game against Johnson & Wales and followed up with a 27-point effort against St. Joseph’s (Conn.)

* Kevin McMahon, junior, Cortland

McMahon is one of the leaders for the 14-3 Red Dragons. The former Hoosick Falls big man is leading the team in shooting percentage at nearly 67 percent and is third on the team with 12.5 points per game as Cortland drives toward the SUNYAC tournament. Another former Panther, Alex Lilac, a freshman at Cortland, has played in four games this season.

* Tanner Williams, freshman, Hartwick

Williams made a huge impact in his first year on the college gridiron. The former Hoosick Falls standout led the Hawks in receiving with more than 800 yards and seven touchdowns. His best effort came against Becker College, catching five passes for 167 yards and two touchdowns. His season was recognized with second-team honors in the Empire 8 conference.

* Jeremy Stevens and Matt Keir, freshmen, Castleton State

Stevens, a defensive tackle and former Cambridge standout, played in five games for the 6-4 Spartans, making six tackles. Mount Anthony’s Matt Keir, played in two games at defensive line for the Spartans.

* Sara Tironi, freshman, Sage College

Tironi, a former Cambridge star, has been a part of two sports at Sage College. In the fall, Tironi was a member of the soccer team and was the third-leading scorer with eight points. This winter, Tironi traded soccer cleats for sneakers, starting 15 of the Gators’ 17 games and shooting nearly 50 percent from the floor and averaging 7.2 points per game. She’s also second on the team in rebounding with 6.2 per game.

* Jeremy Burns, senior, Springfield College

Burns, a standout football player and wrestler at Hoosick Falls, is 8-3 this season for the Pride. He took third at the Scott Viera Invitational, helping his team, ranked third in the New England rankings, to a tournament win. He was also 4-0 at the recent New England Wrestling Association Duals.

* Jimmy Zupko, freshman, Springfield Technical CC

Zupko, a two-time wrestling champion at Mount Anthony, has cracked the starting lineup for STCC in his first year at the college level. Zupko is 6-11 so far this season, competing against the toughest competition in New England.

Send in information about local athletes -- MAU, Hoosick Falls, Cambridge, Arlington and Burr and Burton Academy -- for the next column to asamrov@benningtonbanner.com


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